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GEN News Highlights : Feb 16, 2012

BARDA Contracts Tetraphase for Antibiotic Development with $11.5M Up Front

If subsequent option periods are all completed, total award value would reach $67 million.

Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals has won a $67 million contract from BARDA for the development of TP-434, an antibiotic effective against multidrug-resistant gram-negative pathogens. The company will work on this project with CUBRC, a nonprofit organization that conducts R&D, testing, and systems integration programs in fields including medical sciences as well as chemical and biological defense. The contract includes a 12-month base period with committed funding of $11.5 million and subsequent option periods.

The BARDA contract includes preclinical efficacy and toxicology studies, clinical trials, manufacturing activities, and associated regulatory activities to position the broad-spectrum antibiotic TP-434 as a potential empiric countermeasure for the treatment of inhalational disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis. In parallel, TP-434 is being developed as a potential therapeutic agent for serious hospital infections including those caused by multidrug-resistant aerobic and/or anaerobic gram-negative and gram-positive pathogens.

TP-434's spectrum and pharmacokinetic properties are consistent with its use as a once-daily monotherapy, according to Tetraphase. Preliminary Phase I data have shown that TP-434 also has the potential to be developed as an oral therapy. TP-434 I.V. is currently in Phase II development for complicated intra-abdominal infections. 

“BARDA’s award covering the development of TP-434 brings the total federal funding in support of the development of Tetraphase’s antibiotics to more than $100 million,” says Guy Macdonald, president and CEO of Tetraphase.

In October 2011, Tetraphase was awarded a $36 million NIAID contract for the development of its respiratory disease antibiotic candidiate, TP-271. Under this agreement as well the firm will be working as a subcontractor to CUBRC. The NIAID award to Tetraphase includes $6 million in committed funding over an initial 25 months.